Programs & Special Events 2015

yalsa's young adult services symposium

Participating Authors  | Housing and Travel | Programs and Special Events | Registration | Sponsorship |  

YALSA's Young Adult Services Symposium will take place Nov. 6-8, 2015, in Portland, Oregon. YALSA will host special events requiring additional registration on Friday, with symposium programs taking place all day on Saturday and for a half-day on Sunday morning.

All symposium attendees are eligible to receive a continuing education certificate showing the number of contact hours each person received. There will be a signup sheet near registration and certificates will be e mailed out two weeks following the Symposium.


Friday Preconferences

Preconferences will take place Friday, Nov. 6. Additional registration required.

Supporting Youth Learning Through Building Sustainable Partnerships, Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm, $79

What do Seattle Public Library, Multnomah County Library, the Pacific Science Center, the Portland Art Museum, Game Education PDX, and the National Writing Project have in common? They've all recognized that working closely with community partners can maximize the impact of their work. However, sometimes it can be difficult to build and sustain those partnerships. In this interactive preconference, discover how you can use the partnership lessons learned by a wide variety of institutions to achieve success in your work for and with teens. You'll find out what not to do as well as what to do and leave with tools for building trust, relationships, collective impact and community outcomes. Presenters:  Sara Ryan, Kristin Bayans, Jeffrey Sens, Alicia Tate, Violeta Garza, Amy Twito, Hayden Bass, Rekha Kuver, Eve Klein, K-Fai Steele

Hip Hop Dance and Scratch: Facilitating Connected Learning in Libraries, Friday, 1:30-4:30pm, $79

Although coding is often viewed as an activity for a tech-savvy minority, creating and expressing oneself with technology are key fluencies for participation in society today. How can we support youth in their creative digital work, both in the physical library space as well as in their community? This hands-on workshop will present an approach for offering interest-driven coding workshops using Scratch (a creative coding environment), based on the connected learning framework. Based on this design experience, we will discuss ways to develop and facilitate connected learning activities for youth in libraries. We will share ideas, resources, and best practices from implementing these workshops, as well as lessons learned. All levels of experience welcome, from newcomers to those experienced using Scratch. Bring a laptop (if available) to this hands-on session. To learn more about Scratch, visit Presenters:  Celia Avila. Crystle Martin, Paula Haduong

Panels & Pages: Learning, Inspiring, and Building Communities with Graphic Novels, Friday, 1:30-4:30pm, $79

Graphic Novels are often seen as a stepping stone to entice reluctant readers into “real reading”, but today’s graphic novels deserve much more credit. Come learn about building communities through comics, how to get the right graphic novel into the hands of readers, how librarians can use graphic novels to spark their programming ideas, and how to use graphic novels in the classroom. Hear from librarians, teachers, and creators in this half day event and leave with recommended titles, creators to seek out, and further resources to consult.  Participating creators:  Terry Blas, Faith Erin Hicks, Mariko Tamaki, Gene Luen Yang, Leila del Duca, Joe Keatinge


Special Events

Opening Reception featuring Aija Mayrock, author of "The Survival Guide to Bullying," published by Scholastic,  Friday evening from 5-7pm  (included with registration)

Aija Mayrock

Aija Mayrock began writing "The Survival Guide to Bullying" at age 16 after dealing with bullying in her own life for many years. She promised herself that she would publish it as her gift to the next generation of kids who are bullied. Mayrock won the 2013 Silver Medal for Poetry in the Scholastic Art & Writing Award program joining the ranks of celebrated creative leaders such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King and Lena Dunham, all of whom won a Scholastic Award when they were teens. Mayrock is currently in college in New York City. Her dream is to give a voice to the voiceless through art.  Meet Aija, mingle with fellow symposium attendees and enjoy light refreshments. 




Teen Poetry Slam Closing Session

Grab a ring side seat as local teen poets rock the mic and compete for the title of Symposium Slam Slayer. This closing session will include a short introduction to Portland’s city-wide slam, Verselandia; a live slam; and details on how to host a slam at your school or public library.  In true slam fashion, judges will be selected randomly from audience members; so be prepared to dole out numbers and decimal points for what are sure to be dynamic poetic performances!

Author Luncheon featuring Jack Gantos, Saturday, 12:00-1:30pm, purchase tickets for $49

Jack GantosJack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, andJoey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. Jack was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.  While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack’s career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.

Preliminary Schedule

SATURDAY, 8:30-10:00am

Full STEAM Ahead: Lessons Learned From a Library Coding Camp, Saturday, 8:30-10:00am

During the summer of 2014 partnered with two public libraries in the Los Angeles area to host coding camps designed for junior high and high school students. It was Pursuitery's goal to teach the basics of coding via Scratch, a visual programming language, to children who might otherwise not have a chance to learn about the fundamentals of computer science. In this interactive presentation, Crystle Martin and Evan Jones will discuss what went right, what went wrong, and describe what they found out about teaching technical skills in less than optimal venues with limited staff and resources.

Teen Services without Borders, Saturday, 8:30-10:00am

The map of boundaries involved in serving a community’s teens can be tricky to navigate. Public libraries, school libraries, youth services, adult services, and branches are just a few of the territories to consider. The Teen Services without Borders panel shines a light on these challenges and offers examples of successful partnerships that cross library, departmental, and district lines. Set your GPS for awesome!

Teens As Parents: Library and Early Literacy Connections, Saturday, 8:30-10:00am

Working with teen parents allows youth services librarians to leverage their expertise in early literacy, building relationships with schools and community organizations, and connecting with young people. This panel of Hennepin County Library staff will share our framework of best practices for reaching teen parents as teens while supporting them as parents. Learn about early literacy education activities designed to engage teen parents, and discuss the challenges and opportunities in working with these young people.

SATURDAY, 10:30am-12:00pm

Moving On Up: Introducing Middle Schoolers to the YA Collection, Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

A panel of public and school librarians will share ideas for programs and services to transition middle school students to the YA collection. A variety of programs including alternative book club formats, technology based programs, and collaborations with classroom teachers will be included as well as specific ideas for readers’ advisory to those caught in the middle. Participating author:  Carrie Ryan.

New Adulthood: Literature & Services for NA Patrons, Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

New Adult literature has been an emerging publishing trend in recent years, featuring protagonists aged 18-25. This genre explores the territory that older teens encounter as they become adults: new relationships, emerging sexuality, shifting dynamics with friends and family, moving away from home, peer pressure, bullying, college, and other life choices. This session will discuss NA fiction and nonfiction, the unique needs of the new adult audience, and how young adult librarians are uniquely positioned to serve this population. Attendees will come away with practical ideas about how to best serve patrons in this age bracket, who are often reading from both the YA and NA genres.

Teaching Urban Teens Valuable Skills: A Teen Job Fair, Saturday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Hosting a Teen Job Fair is a great way to improve the economic success of teens in urban environments. We will discuss our experience in developing and hosting a series of career preparation workshops for teens that culminated in a Teen Job Fair. We will discuss how we encouraged teens to participate as well as how we created partnerships with local businesses in our community.

SATURDAY, 1:30-3:00pm

If You Build It, They Will Come: Establishing Teen Services in Public Libraries, Saturday, 1:30-3:00pm

What does it take to start a new Teen Services Department in the 21st century? For practitioners from public libraries of all shapes and sizes, we’ll explore best practices for creating and activating physical, virtual, and cultural spaces for teens. Featuring hands-on activities, we’ll draw upon research and experience in a large urban library system and small suburban library district to explore lessons learned and obstacles overcome on the path to comprehensive service for teens.

Paper Presentations, Saturday, 1:30-3:00pm

Teaching digital, media and information literacies to foster youth at a university curriculum materials library:  The presentation will showcase a four-year case study of collaboration between a NGO, a research lab and a university library to provide college courses in digital, media, and information literacies to high school foster youth. The librarians and instructors expand one another’s knowledge and explored best practices to teach the at-risk students. Data includes observations, interviews, and artifacts. Using content analysis, we found positive change in students’ literacy skills to help them succeed in college.

Writing within Community:  How Mentoring Works in Online Fan Fiction:  Ever wonder why teen patrons keep writing fanfiction when they have so much else to do? Join members of a cross-disciplinary research team to find out! We spent nine-months on an ethnographic journey to discover the secrets of online fanfiction communities and found a unique form of mentorship. Learn about “distributed mentoring” and how you can put that knowledge to use in supporting adolescent learners.

William C. Morris Author Forum

Debut YA authors discuss what led them to write for teens, their creative process, and the experience of publishing a novel. Participating Authors: Anna-Marie McLemore, Ann Jacobus, Jennifer Longo, and Peter Rock.  Moderated by: Elizabeth Ross (2014 Morris Finalist)

SATURDAY, 3:30-5:00pm

A Series of Fortunate Events: Library Collaborations that help LGBTQ Young Adults Transition to College Life, Saturday, 3:30-5:00pm

Libraries can help make the transition from high school to college easier for LGBTQ teens by providing opportunities for engagement with one another and promoting library personnel/collections. This session will explore how collaborations between librarians, high school educators, and student groups can provide these older teens with the services, collections, and relationships they need for a successful college experience.  Participating authors:  David Levithan, Susan Kuklin, Ann Bausum, and Mariko Tamaki.

Lessons from Learning Spaces: Challenges and Opportunities for Maker Programming in Libraries, Saturday, 3:30-5:00pm

Makerspaces and learning labs in libraries have generated a great deal of interest over the past few years, but also many questions. Among them, there are issues of professional development, evaluation, sustainability, and institutional philosophies of making. This panel will address how three libraries are approaching these issues as they manage IMLS-funded projects to expand youth-driven, participatory programming within their diverse institutions. With perspectives from diverse libraries, the panel will share promising practices, lessons learned, communities of practice, IMLS funded resources and research. The format will allow ample time for audience Q&A.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Connecting School and Public Libraries to Enhance Teen Services, Saturday, 3:30-5:00pm

Limitless Libraries works to remove students’ barriers to public library resources. In this session, we will describe the ways school and public librarians collaborate to give middle and high school students access to print, digital, and programming resources through Nashville Public Library (NPL). Limitless Libraries staff, NPL’s teen services manager, and a local middle school librarian will highlight the most successful portions of the partnership, including delivering materials to schools, collaborative collection development, and offering NPL programming at schools.


SUNDAY, 8:30-10:00am

Acting and Beyond: Helping Teens and Libraries Establish Connections through Theatre, Sunday, 8:30-10:00am

Theatre programs can forge lasting connections among librarians, teens, and the community. This session will include a presentation providing details of various theatre programs and performances that we have put on at our own library (and the lasting impact they have had on our teens and the overall community), examples of acting games and exercises, and a practical guide for incorporating theatre into your own teen programming by tailoring it to fit an individual library’s capacity, resources, and population. We will also include hands-on group activities that will demonstrate a few acting games and exercises and allot time for a Q&A.

Diverse Teen Fiction: Getting Beyond The Labels, Sunday, 8:30-10:00am

Diverse YA fiction can often be segregated into niches based around tags -- LGBTQIA, Disabled, Latino, etc -- limiting circulation. Join members of the We Need Diverse Books team to discuss how librarians can emphasize the universal, highlight how texts can be “windows” for some and “mirrors” for others, and repurpose tags to maximize circulation. Participants will be presented with a “toolkit,” including comparative title strategies, event connections, creative shelf-labeling, and the art of the enticing one-line pitch.  Participating authors:  I.W. Gregorio, Stacey Lee, Anna Marie McLemore, Renee Watson, Swati Avasthi, Fonda Lee, Dhonielle Clayton.

Yes, You Can! How to Fill the Library with Teens, Create Buy-in, and Keep Your Sanity, Sunday, 8:30-10:00am

Come learn practical steps you can take to change the culture at your library, build and maintain your teen programs, utilize your space, and bring your colleagues on board. There will be a brainstorming session at the end to ensure that you leave confident in the small but powerful changes you can make to increase teen comfort and participation at the library.

SUNDAY, 10:30am-12:00pm

Maker Space Programming without the Space (or How Hollywood Came to Indiana and Brought a Community Together), Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

What happens when you combine experts from the community and a small budget and teens with a video camera? Movie Magic, of course. Find out how one small branch library developed a year-long teen program that brought a community together and created original movies written by, direct by, and starring teens. This session is perfect for libraries wanting to engage in Maker Space programs but don’t have the space to do so or are looking to develop collaborative teen programming.

Using Digital Literacy Trends with Teens, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

The session will cover current digital literacy trends that can be used for teen programs and services. Programs using the Makey Makey, Arduino, and MIT's Scratch website will cover how teens can create, experiment, and succeed in the library. Examples will highlight the "Teen Tech Lab" series at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Some of the examples will also include how to create book-related videos, digital art portfolios, stop motion challenges, video game creation, and much more.

Elevating Teen Volunteers to Loftier Roles, Sunday, 10:30am-12:00pm

Most libraries offer teens opportunities to meet high school service learning graduation requirements, but many teens are looking for experiences beyond stamping books. As teen advocates the library should not only help them to track enough hours, but also provide a quality experience that will enhance their skills and increase the likelihood of future successes. This session will share experiences of libraries who have transformed their teen volunteering programs into opportunities for teens to learn crucial skills and connect with the community while helping their library.